As a result, I believe we must focus on sectors that have shown considerable strength regardless of prevailing market conditions. The health care sector is an area I consistently turn to these days, as Americans increase their health care spending year after year.
With that in mind, I would like to once again turn my attention toward
; I last wrote about the company in my
Aug. 14 column. In mid-August, the stock of the pharmaceutical company had been hit hard because of concerns over its future drug pipeline.
At the time, I cited heavy investments in research and development and its strong free cash flow as valuable assets in expanding its pipeline of drugs. Sure enough, Wyeth put its $1.62 billion of free cash flow to work in acquiring Haptogen, a Scottish company that develops biopharmaceutical therapies.
Haptogen will strongly bolster Wyeth's R&D and expose it to a new area of biotechnology. Its balance sheet is also very strong, with revenue of $21.37 billion and a cash position of about $12.2 billion. The stock's forward P/E is 12.08, and the return on equity is 29.8%.
Additionally, Wyeth has announced that it is submitting a new-drug application to the FDA for bazedoxifene/conjugated estrogens, which have shown positive results in relieving hot flashes in postmenopausal women. The drug has already shown efficacy in phase III clinical trials, with minimal risk of side effects.
These positive developments at Wyeth make for another excellent investment opportunity. With the company already growing at a 12% year-over-year rate, the improved pipeline of future products should help lift its share price. I too will invest into Wyeth's pipeline and place a limit order for 10 April 40 calls (WYEDH) at $7.90 or better. The stock closed at $46.16 on Wednesday.
Game of Life
The NLCS begins tonight with the "little engine that could," the Arizona Diamondbacks, entertaining the incendiary Colorado Rockies, who are in the midst of a prolonged "Rocky Mountain High."
The Rockies have won 17 of their last 18 games. By virtue of their respective sweeps of the Cubs and Phillies in the Divisional Playoff Series, both the D-Backs and Rockies are well rested, with pitching staffs perfectly set-up for a run at the NL Pennant.
The staff aces, Brandon Webb for Arizona, and Jeff Francis for Colorado will face line-ups in Game One that are extremely familiar, as these intra-divisional rivals faced each other 18 times this year.
The ALCS begins in Boston tomorrow night, with the Red Sox, fresh off their three game sweep of the Angels, hosting the Cleveland Indians, who eliminated the Yankees 3-1 in their Divisional Series.
Again, the pitching staffs are set up perfectly, with Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia facing the only 20-game winner in the majors this year, Boston's Josh Beckett.
Game Two will pit the Indians young phenom, Fausto Carmona, who mesmerized the Yankees, against the old warhorse, Curt Schilling of the BoSox, who pitched seven shutout innings against the Angels, in his last start.
Despite the Phillies' disappointing exit from the Divisional Playoffs in a three game sweep at the hands of the Rockies, the Phillies rewarded Manager Charlie Manuel with a two year contract, with a club option for a third year. Obviously, the Phillies front office was encouraged by the team's first appearance in the post-season since 1993.
General Manager Pat Gillick has already announced that he will step down at the end of 2008; hence, it will be interesting to see what the Phillies do this off-season, with upgrades needed at third base and the pitching staff in particular.
In contradistinction, there is relative silence in The Bronx regarding the future of Joe Torre, although speculation runs rampant that he will not be occupying the Yankees dugout next season, after the Yankees were eliminated for the third consecutive year in the first round of the playoffs.
Rumors abound that Torre will be fired, and his replacement will be Tony LaRussa or Joe Girardi. Regardless of what ultimately transpires with Torre, GM Brian Cashman faces an incredibly difficult off-season, replete with questions regarding several high priced superstars.
The status of Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada and of course, A-Rod, needs to be addressed by Cashman, under the ever watchful eye of Mr. Steinbrenner.
In yet another blow to Michael Vick's fortunes, Stephen B. Burbank, a special master and law professor from The University of Pennsylvania, ruled that the Atlanta Falcons are entitled to recover almost $20 million in bonus money already paid to Vick.
The decision has been appealed by Vick and the NFL Players Association.
The Players Club recognizes that fortunes made are not always fortunes kept. Moreover, fortunes made are often lost in seemingly inexplicable manners. By guaranteeing recurring cash flow, through our strategic partner, The Players Club endeavors to protect a chunk of one's fortune such that other "fortunes" can be pursued, achieved, and enjoyed!
Always remember: Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!
At the time of publication, Dykstra had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Nicknamed 'Nails' for his tough style of play, Lenny is a former Major League Baseball player for the 1986 World Champions, New York Mets and the 1993 National League Champions, Philadelphia Phillies. A three time All-Star as a ballplayer, Lenny now serves as president for several privately held businesses in Southern California. He is the founder of The Players Club; it has been his desire to give back to the sport that gave him early successes in life by teaching athletes how to invest and protect their incomes. He currently manages his own portfolio and writes an investment strategy column for TheStreet.com, and is featured regularly on CNBC and other cable news shows. Lenny was selected as OverTime Magazine's 2006-2007 "Entrepreneur of the Year."